Sunday, 14 October 2012

Kershaw wins Walters battle as Rochelle takes title

Richard Kershaw took his fourth win of the year at round six of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship but it was not enough to prevent Ian Rochelle triumphing in the title battle.

The event organisers laid on a very challenging course in the Walters Arena complex largely made up of offroad sections with a few Cat 1 sections and a large watersplash described by one driver as a boating lake! It was Kershaw who was quickest on the opening run in his Milner R5 although Justin Birchall was just two seconds behind with Rochelle in third.

These three dominated the leaderboard throughout the opening day’s seven runs although steering rack problems caused Birchall to drop some time which allowed Rochelle into second. Birchall enlisted a spectating Jonny Koonja to sit in the car and steer using the fiddle brakes as he caught up on his runs at the end of the day.

Although Birchall replaced the steering rack overnight it failed again after the first run of day two’s six runs forcing him out of the event. Kershaw continued to extend his lead over Rochelle who, with a need to finish in the top three to take the championship, was driving cautiously over the tough terrain.

Rochelle’s tactics paid off as he brought his Millington Phoenix home in second to win the BCCC title for the second time.

“It has been a very anxious weekend,” said Rochelle. “We’ve not been racing at all today, we just wanted to get to the finish and take no risks. I am very pleased and relieved to get here and delighted to win the championship again. It has been a great season, it doesn’t get much better than this!”

Although happy with the win Kershaw was disappointed not to have won the championship: “We have won all the events we have finished so it’s a shame a couple of mechanical problems have cost us the title. I’m pleased to have broken my bogey at the venue though, I’ve not had much luck here before. Congratulations to Ian on the title.”

Mike Moran continued his great form in 2012 to round of his championship with third place in his AT 4x4 Challenger.

“It’s been a great event and a fantastic course, full-on offroad action! It was a case of driving to the conditions and I’m very happy with third. The championship has been great this year as has the organisation and marshalling. I shall be back next year!”

In the Trophy championship Alan Thomas was victorious ahead of Paul Harris. Paul Garner won the Clubman event after Mark Hones retired during day two and Nick Lines won the Freelander Challenge.

BCCC Results:

1. Richard Kershaw/Andy Lees (Milner R5) 2:25:54
2. Ian Rochelle/Chris Hammond (Millington Phoenix) +7m 15s;
3. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger) +9m 32s;
4. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206) +10m 11s;
5. Ryan Cooke/Chris Cooke (Land Rover Defender) +15m 32s
6. Andy Powell/Richard Heath (Simmbugghini) +15m 58s
7. Andi Skelley/Laura Shepherd (3M Land Rover)  +20m 06s;
8. Greg Morris/Bob Moulding (Bowler Wildcat) +23m 17s;
9. Phil Ibbotson/Will Jefferson (Metro 6R4 Evo) +30m 03s;
10. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Bowler Tomcat) +40m 45s;


BCCC Trophy winner: Alan Thomas (Warrior Gemini)

Freelander Challenge winner: Nick Lines (Freelander)

Clubman winner: Paul Garner (GSR V10)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Crews set for BCCC title showdown

The final round of the Bripart MSA British Cross Country Championship takes place next weekend at Walters Arena in South Wales with several crews in with a chance of taking the title.

Presently leading the championship is Warrington’s Mike Moran on 360 points. Moran’s BMW-diesel powered AT 4x4 Challenger has been fitted with new propshafts after problems with the front one on the last round meant he did most of day two in rear wheel drive, emulating a Mk2 Escort on several of the courses corners.

Moran commented: “Walters can be a car killer but ours has a robust frame which can handle the bouncing off banks and ditches that we’ll have to do to try and keep up with the more powerful petrol cars. We’ll be going flat out to get a trophy!”

In second place currently, on 337 points, is Paul Myers from championship sponsor Britpart. Myers has put in consistently good performances on every round this year in his Land Rover Special and he is looking to finish off the season with another good result.

2011 champion Ian Rochelle is in an excellent position to defend his title. He lies third after round five on 335 points but after a retirement earlier in the season he will be able to count all the points he gets at the weekend whereas Moran and Myers will have to drop points. A win at Walters would see him triumph in the title battle.

“We’ve fitted a cam seal retaining kit so the problems we have had all year with the seals popping out cannot strike again,” said Rochelle. “It’s great that the title battle has come down to the last round and I am massively excited about getting out there again.”

In the Trophy championship Alan Thomas leads the title race on 406 points ahead of Mark Jacques on 358. Adam Bridgman hopes to be contesting round six but he faces a last minute battle to get his car ready as the gearbox is still broken from the previous round.

Nick Lines still leads the Freelanders going into round six despite missing round five. Chris Ratter is in second place.

The action will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition. Sunday’s runs will start at 9am. More information is available on www.marches4x4.com.